September 3rd, 2013
06:45 PM ET
1 year ago

McCain's poker scandal

(CNN) – Sen. John McCain, perhaps the Senate's most outspoken voice in favor of military action in Syria, was caught playing poker Tuesday at the first congressional hearing about giving the president authority to use force in the war-torn country.


The Senate Foreign Relations Committee grilled the panel of top Obama officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.

While McCain spoke up when it came his turn, a Washington Post photographer snapped a photo of the Arizona Republican trying his luck in the meantime.

Read more about the hearing

The senator later explained his poker habit on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

"As much as I like to always listen with rapt attention constantly (to) remarks of my colleagues over a three and a half period, occasionally I get a little bored and so I resorted," he said, chuckling. "But the worst thing about it is I lost thousands of dollars in this game."

He followed up, saying it was only "fake" money.


Filed under: Congress • John McCain • Syria
soundoff (416 Responses)
  1. Mike

    $174,000/year for a part-time job (2 or 3 days/week) and you get to play video games rather than listen when people talk about committing American blood and treasure. Of course John is bored, he already knows all the answers, and his staff has already polled his major donors on how to vote. Sadly he is typical of a Congress with lower ratings than used car sales staff.

    September 3, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  2. mary

    thats cause he has made up his mind.. Go for it~! He votes yes yes yes yes yes yes to all war..

    September 3, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  3. us_1776

    More like.

    It was only YOUR money !!

    .

    September 3, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  4. Melanie Heim

    because listening about bombing SYRIA isnt more important than a poker game. WOW....disgusting.

    September 3, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  5. Jay

    Wow, I have to say I don't like to nitpick. But this tells me that some of the folks in favor of going all out in Syria aren't even interested in some of the rebuttal. That scares the bejesus out of me.

    September 3, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  6. charles bowen

    Poker is my game too Won 7000 in Antarctica 1968 Mcmurdo Sound good games passes the time and has its obvious rewards.....John You should join us Democrats we always win in poker and politics....Thank You For Your Service and the Assist on Syria....Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    September 3, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  7. PtBarnumBoy

    About as funny as a truckload of dead babies.

    September 3, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  8. mrl

    i can't believe this guy is still in politics...

    September 3, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  9. gwats1957

    And the GOP would convince you they have a better way forward? I doubt it.......

    September 3, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  10. McDummy

    The man who complains that Obama is off doing other things besides his duties.. cannot sit 3 hours in a meeting without playing online poker because he got bored? My goodness, just think if he were president, he would be in cabinet meetings getting bored, approving wars all the while he is playing online poker.

    September 3, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  11. JMan

    Yeah, if I had to sit through a a Senate hearing I'd have to be doing SOMETHING to keep awake. Has to be the most monotonous event on earth.

    September 3, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  12. Pablo Mayhew

    Who cares what that jerk does. Wasn't he one of those most adamant about waging war on Iraq? Of course, like everyone else with a seriously diminished attention span in Congress, he knew Saddam Hussein had WMDs...because he remembered us selling them to him in the 1980s.

    September 3, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  13. Laura

    Has anyone ever watch CSPANN? I would have called that multitasking.

    September 3, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  14. Allinstride

    Conduct very becoming a U.S. Senator.

    September 3, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  15. John

    Yes, that's what we pay these overpaid, underworked politicians to do: play online poker. That he jokes about it makes him all the more corrupt. Hey, Arizona, vote this old man out of office so he'll have plenty of time to play video games.

    September 3, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  16. martin

    Don't these old time politicians believe in retirement? Go home grandpa. Let somebody new start lying to the American public.

    September 3, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  17. G. W. Bush

    This guy is lame. Thank God he was never president.

    September 3, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  18. Richard Mountback

    His constituents should be constantly reminded of this incident so they understand how well he's serving them.

    September 3, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  19. G. W. Bush

    Kick him out of the senate.

    September 3, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  20. RHC

    You were bored? You just don't get it, do you?

    You represent the voice of millions, Senator. That's a privilege the voters of Arizona gave you because you asked for it (again), you jerk. I'm bored with your ego, your sense of entitlement. Don't dare run for anything again. Step aside for someone who will take their responsibility seriously.

    September 3, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  21. Mike

    I have never posted a comment anywhere before, but this makes my blood boil. Regardless of party affiliation, this is an embarrassment. If he were an attorney and did this in court, where the stakes are as high, the judge would hold him in contempt and the client would fire him. He should resign his position if he cannot do work while being paid by American taxpayer dollars. Any employee doing that would be fired.

    September 3, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  22. Aaron

    We are debating whether to militarily strike another country and this worthless senator is playing poker? Really, he must take his job really seriously, what do you expect he is after all a government worker.

    September 3, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  23. thelastofthegunslingers

    Haha, so funny Mr McCain. The worst thing was not "that you lost thousands of dollars" but how inconsiderate you are. People are about to die because of your warmongering yet through your actions it shows you do not care. I don't care if you were there for 3 or 5 hours and was bored. Very unprofessional!!!

    September 3, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  24. Lenny Pincus

    What a joke this guy is. And the Republicans are ginning up their usual BS about Obama's foot on his desk.

    September 3, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  25. Dave

    Either choice with Syria wont bring good results, but as a country we have to accept difficut decisions and stand up for who we are. So for those who say no, its reality and we have to stop the talking and stand up for who we are.

    September 3, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
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